Colyer signed an executive order Tuesday following several weeks of abnormally dry conditions in all 105 counties.
He declared an emergency for 28 southern Kansas counties and a warning for 29 other counties in central and southern Kansas. The remaining 48 counties are under a drought watch.
See the full county breakdown here:
- Drought Emergency: Barber, Barton, Clark, Comanche, Edwards, Finney, Ford, Grant, Gray, Hamilton, Harper, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Kingman, Kiowa, Meade, Morton, Pawnee, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Sedgwick, Seward, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens, Sumner
- Drought Warning: Allen, Butler, Chautauqua, Chase, Cowley, Dickinson, Elk, Ellis, Ellsworth, Greeley, Greenwood, Harvey, Lane, Lincoln, Marion, McPherson, Montgomery, Morris, Neosho, Ness, Rush, Russell, Saline, Scott, Trego, Wallace, Wichita, Wilson, Woodson
- Drought Watch: Anderson, Atchison, Bourbon, Brown, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Crawford, Decatur, Doniphan, Douglas, Franklin, Geary, Gove, Graham, Jackson, Jefferson, Jewell, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Linn, Logan, Lyon, Marshall, Miami, Mitchell, Nemaha, Norton, Osage, Osborne, Ottawa, Phillips, Pottawatomie, Rawlins, Republic, Riley, Rooks, Shawnee, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Thomas, Wabaunsee, Washington, Wyandotte
The order directs state agencies to combat drought conditions.
It also opens up land in the federal Conservation Reserve Program for cattle grazing and temporarily lifts height and weight restrictions on trucks for easier shipping of hay into drought-stricken areas.
Colyer said the state must act because conditions are not expected to improve and “we need to get ahead of this as early as possible.”